There is a buzz in the air these past few weeks that no movie lover can ignore. The Oscar nominations are out. These nominations could decide the importance of a movie for the creator, the press that the stars of the movie will get and most of all, they recognize the best movies of the year. Right now is the time of year when people can talk about and compare movies that they loved. It is also so exiting to try to guess who will win and seeing who’s pitted against whom. And this year is no exception. Meryl versus Sandra! Kathryn Bigelow with her bomb squad versus her ex-husband, James Cameron, with his blue creatures! This batch of nominations seem to the most exciting in years!
One of the most anticipated Oscar nominations is for “best picture.” The most important award of the night, it brings together acting, editing, directing and writing, and decides which movie has the best of it. This year the nominations are: The Hurt Locker, Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, Inglorious Bastards, Precious, A Serious Man, Up and Up in the Air. These movies are so different from each other it hard to compare! The Hurt Locker (a fast paced nail biting inducing thriller about army bomb diffusers in Iraq) can hardly be seen next to a movie like Up (a G rated animated movie about an old man and a young boy who travel through the sky in a house held up by balloons). How will the voters decide? Sadly, we are forced to wait and see; until then, we can speculate. For many people the true race is between The Hurt Locker and Avatar. The fact that The Hurt Locker (which made 12.7 million in the box office) could ever threaten Avatar (which made 595.8 million in the box office) is truly remarkable. It is like everyone’s favorite Cinderella story: a tiny indie war drama that ends up taking the highest grossing and most expensive movie of all time. Who could have guessed?
Another important award is for “best actress.” This year the nominees are Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Gabourey Sidibe and Carey Mulligan. Some of these actress are well known, and some have names you can’t even pronounce. Let me break these actresses down for you: Sandra Bullock is 45 and is nominated for her role in The Blind Side (which in case you’ve forgotten is also nominated for best picture). A shocking fact about her is that she’s also nominated for a Razzie in her movie All About Steve. (A “Razzie” is an award for the worst acting and movies of the year!!) Meryl Streep is 60 years old and is nominated for her role in Julia and Julia. She herself is a kind of Oscar legend, and keeps beating her own record. (Overall, she has scored 16 nominations and 2 wins.) Many people think she is going to win. Helen Mirren is 64 years old and is nominated for The Last Stations. She has won best actress before for The Queen and has received nominations for The Madness of King George and Gifford’s Park. Gabourey Sidibe is 26 and nominated for Precious. Most people haven’t heard of her, and the very first time she lands a big role, she gets nominated for best actress and her movie is nominated for best picture! It’s amazing! Keep your eyes open for her in the future everyone; she has a couple movies already lining up. Last but not least, there is 24-year-old Carey Mulligan, who is nominated for An Education. Once again, you may never have heard of her, but her movie is nominated for best picture and some people are saying she could win best actress. Keep your eyes open for her as well; she’s staring as the love interest of her real-life boyfriend Shia LeBeouf in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Along with “best actress,” comes the just-as-important award for “best actor.” This year, the men nominated are Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freedman, and Jeremy Renner. Once again, there are names here that are incredibly famous and some you’ve never heard before, so let’s run through them too. Jeff Bridges is 60 years old, and is nominated for Crazy Heart. He has had four precious acting nominations but has yet to win. You may have seen him in Iron Man (he was the bad guy) but the character he plays in Crazy Heart is almost the complete opposite. In fact, he gained 25 pounds to play a man who has completely given up on everybody, including himself. George Clooney is 48, and is nominated for Up in the Air. He also has had four nominations: two for acting, one for directing and one for writing, and has won once for “best supporting actor” in Syriana. He’s a very famous actor and was named by People Magazine as “Sexiest Man Alive.” Many people say he could win the Oscar. Morgan freedman is 72 and is nominated for Invictus. He is part of the four-time nominated for acting group, and has won once for best supporting actor in Million Dollar Baby. Nelson Mandela himself said that he wanted Morgan to play him if there was ever to be a movie about him, and that is just what Morgan did. And the best part is, he did it amazingly well. Colin Firth is 49 and is nominated for A Single Man (not to be confused with A Serious Man, which is up for “best picture”). This is his first nomination, but this British actor is well known for movies such as Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones’s Diary. Last of all, there is Jeremy Renner, who is 39 and nominated for The Hurt Locker (which is up for best picture in case you forgot!). He plays a bomb diffuser in Iraq, and in order to get into the part he went and worked with real professionals at Fort Irwin in California. He said to EW Magazine he didn’t have to work very hard to keep it tense (some takes are 15 minutes long!), he just had to react–which is said to be one of the things he was nominated for.
Those are some of the most important nominations that have come out, but there are plenty more important ones, like “best supporting actor and actress.” (Who knew that a person from the cast of Twilight could actually, well, act? What is The Secret of the Kells?). You can find the complete list of nominations at: http://oscar.go.com/nominations/nominees. The Oscars are on Sunday, March 7th at 8pm EST/5 pm PST. Until then, we will just have to keep guessing and wondering about who will get that gold statue, and hope that the person that we like will win. Go out and rent the movies that are nominated if you haven’t seen them. There is a reason they were nominated! And watch the Oscars when they are on. It is truly, movie’s biggest night of the year.